The interiors of the El Mirasol mansion contained a wealth of Herter Art, much of which remains undocumented, while others have found homes in the most prestigious of museums and private art collections.
Albert and Adele Herter lived much of their lives in Santa Barbara, California at the prestigous ‘El Mirasol’ Herter family estate. They both played a prominent role decorating the interiors of this grand estate. They placed great emphasis on ‘art created by the Herters’.
At the time of construction in 1908, Albert and Adele Herter decorated the interiors of the El Mirasol mansion, and again in 1914 when they converted this five-acre Herter estate into the luxurious El Mirasol Hotel.
The Herters entertained and hosted community cultural events at the El Mirasol. Famous artists, poets from around the world and America’s elite families visited the El Mirasol Herter estate. This also served in promoting ‘quality Herter artwork to their wealthy clients’.
Christian Herter’s Sunflower Lantern was chosen as the Front Entrance Fixture to this grand Herter estate.
Together with his talented wife Adele, Albert Herter traveled to Santa Barbara, California in 1908 to help his mother, Mary Herter decorate the new Herter family mansion known as ‘El Mirasol’.
They decorated the Herter family estate with artwork created by the Herters. The property showcased ‘Herter Art’, and paid tribute to Albert’s father, Christian Herter of the ‘Herter Brothers’.
Herter art from this estate can be found the the finest museums and art collections from around the world, including the Smithsonian Museum.
The Herter art at the El Mirasol was diverse, and was described as “exquisite, each is a masterpiece of its kind.”
Consisting of an entire five acre city-block in the heart of Santa Barbara, the “El Mirasol” estate was truly an elegant property. It was known as ‘the House of Herter Art’.
The main Herter mansion was surrounded by fourteen smaller villas which served as accommodations for their famous guests.
El Mirasol hosted America’s elite families and famous artists from around the world.
Built at the turn of the century, the property featured choice artwork by Christian Herter and his talented family, including the artists Albert and Adele Herter.
Albert and Adele Herter decorated the Herter mansion with their oil paintings, tapestries, murals and breathtaking wall coverings.
The main rooms of this grand estate had elaborately designed tapestries and stenciled curtains by Albert Herter’s Herter Looms. Much of the furniture were created by the Herter Brothers.
Albert Herter selected the Spanish name ‘El Mirasol’ (The Flower in the Sun) in respect to his father Christian Herter’s love of the ‘sunflower motif’, which is often found in his Herter Brothers masterworks.
The HERTER and TIFFANY families had a long relationship, and this continued with their sons, Albert Herter and Louis Comfort Tiffany. They combined their talents in creating the ‘Herter Lions’ stain glass Tiffany windows.
Albert Herter designed these twelve stain-glass windows for the new Herter estate in 1908. They were crafted by Louis Comfort Tiffany, executed by Tiffany Studios, and proudly displayed in several rooms within the Herter mansion.
These arch-top stain-glass windows were ‘jeweled’ and hung over interior double-doors. They featured two lion heads with Sunflower star-burst manes. In the mansion’s Persian Room, the Herter-Tiffany Windows were framed by sunflower motif wallpaper designed by Christian Herter of the Herter Brothers.
When Mary Herter died in 1913, the estate was left to her son, Albert Herter. He converted this five acre estate into the luxury ‘El Mirasol Hotel’ in 1914. Albert Herter designed the El Mirasol ‘sunflower keychain’, and redecorated the estate and the surrounding 14 villas with artwork created by Albert and Adele Herter and other California artists.
Well respected in their own rights, both Albert and Adele Herter combined their talents in decorating the El Mirasol’s Persian and Cactus Rooms.
Albert and Adele Herter designed and painted the unique wallpaper for the Cactus Room. The Cactus Room featured an American western desert landscape which encircled the room.
In this most unusual artform, the Herters selected antique Chinese silver-foil tea wrappers and highlighted with gold-leaf. This became “an eluminating landscape with a richness of depth”.
The Cactus Room was once described by Frank Lloyd Wright as being “the finest wallcovering I have ever seen”.
The Herters also designed the Persian Room, which featured wall murals beautifully painted by Albert and Adele Herter. These Persian themes were also conveyed in tapestries by Albert Herter. The Persian Room was highlighted with Sunflower motif wallpaper designed by Christian Herter of the Herter Brothers.
Glass played an important role in the Persian Room. In addition to the large leaded glass atrium above, the Persian Room was encircled by colorful stain glass windows designed by Albert Herter and executed by Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Tiffany Studios. The leaded glass atrium brought the stain glass windows to life in the Santa Barbara sunlight.
The Persian Room also featured ‘Sunflower motif’ wallpaper designed by Albert Herter’s father, Christian Herter of the Herter Brothers.
The El Mirasol Hotel operated as a luxury hotel serving America’s elite families and famous artist from around the world, from 1914 until a fire destroyed the property in 1969.
This grand Hotel had two formal dinning rooms, two cocktail lounges, conference rooms, and served as a gathering point for Santa Barbara cultural events. The exteriors were equally elegant with five acres of unique plants, trees and garden walkways in the heart of Santa Barbara.
Surrounding this Herter estate were three additional five-acre city blocks, which were city-parks and gardens. There was not a more prestigous estate in Santa Barbara.
The Herter Art at the El Mirasol estate was diverse, and was described as “exquisite, each is a masterpiece of its kind”.